Monday, July 6, 2015

PRVWSD might charge leasehold fees for piers and docks.

It happens.  You buy your dream home on the water of the Ross Barnett Reservoir.  The next step is to buy that boat and a structure to store the boat.  You've paid your leasehold fees and are living life fat and happy until you read the Clarion-Ledger this morning.  It seems the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District might start charging leasehold fees for docks, slips, and boathouses that are on the water.  The newspaper reported:

Windrose Point resident Ken Blaine purchased his waterfront home on Ross Barnett Reservoir about 15 years ago and soon after built a pier that met neighborhood covenant requirements.

"They had some rules when I built it that said you couldn't build more than 25 feet from the water line," Blaine said. "That was the only rules we had.

"It states in our covenants that I'm on a water access lot. PRV (Pearl River Valley Water Supply District) signed off on the covenants."

That's why Blaine was surprised when he recently received a letter from the PRVWSD questioning his boathouse-pier conversion.

"I got a letter stating that I had to give them proof that I had a lease for that area in the water for the boathouse," Blaine said. "To my understanding, nobody has that."

Barnett Reservoir General Manager John Sigman said more letters about private piers and boathouses are to be mailed.

Sigman said leaseholders on Barnett Reservoir land lease just that — the land where their home is built. The right to build a pier or boathouse that extends into the water is not included in the agreement. He said the fact that some pier and boathouse owners are not leasing the areas in the water was discovered recently through the Building and Permit Department.

"What has happened was a gentleman bought a house over there (in Windrose Point) and wanted to build a boathouse," Sigman said. "Through the process we checked to see if he leased the property (in the water) and he did not. Sure enough, none of them had either a lease or easement for the addition beyond their lot."

Blaine said that even though the contractor who built his pier got a permit for its construction, this is the first time he's ever heard of paying to lease the area.Rest of article.

Mr. Sigman told JJ that the district was determining whether charging leasehold fees for structures built on the water was legal and feasible.  He said the district would not charge money for structures built in the past but would charge additional leasehold fees only in the future if the district decides to charge fees at all.  


Anonymous said...

This is such bullshit.

It's not fair to expect the leaseholders to shoulder the burden of the upkeep of the rez when we aren't the only ones that use it. If you want us to pay for all the maintenance of the lake, then close it off to the public and only let leaseholders use it.

If you use the rez, you should pay a fee.

Anonymous said...

PRVWSD just changed lawyers. It went from private lawyers who ran it for the last 40 or so years to the AG's office.

So now new lawyers are giving everything a "once over" and finding areas of deficiency.

Sigman is a stickler and is under compunction to follow the law and collect all monies due and owing...and he is going to do his job.

Anonymous said...

Looks like John is tired of beating on the legislature to fund reservoir operations and maintenance by himself without any help from leaseholders. Note to leaseholders: If you don't want to be the only funding source PRVWSD has, you need to organize and demand that the legislature start funding PRVWSD out of the state budget like every other state agency. Further, you leaseholders should demand that the legislature address the incredible injustice caused by the wholesale removal of gas/mineral resources from under the reservoir without much, if any, remuneration to either the state or PRVWSD. That is a ready-made funding source that would go a long way toward making PRV financially sound. Without public pressure on legislators, Denbury will continue to ride that gravy train.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like the PRVWSD is doing its job - charging people for the land (or water) they are occupying. The change from private (overpaid) lawyers appears to be going well.

Anonymous said...

The extra fee for docks and biathouse isn't going to happen. It will take time, but all non-lease holders will eventually have to pay to use the reservoir. Paid daily parking for trailered boats is coming soon. Our parks charge a fee now and that's working well. Once Rankin County gets out from under Jackson's water problems, by having their own treatment plant, money we spend for that won't be going to bail out Jackson's water and raw sewage woes. They can pay for their own filthy city.

Anonymous said...

I might launch a boat a few times a year to take a ride or do some fishing, and I would be happy to pay a reasonable fee for the privilege. However, boathouse people use the REZ 365 x every time they look out the window. They need to pay for the privilege too.

Anonymous said...

So now leaseholders will be paying even more so that others can use the Rez for free. Got it

Anonymous said...

12:24 But you use it 24/7, and we paid for it so you could lease it. Your choice, enjoy it or move. Just a typical landlord and tenant relationship.

Anonymous said...

PRVWSD has tried to implement several different types of fees to all that use the water. As you know they have all been done away with by the legislature. Everything that concerns money goes through the legislature. They even have to approve the PRVWSD budget every year. If the legislature does take over financing it will be awful to all leaseholders.

Anonymous said...

They need to charge per fishing pole stuck in THEIR water. Some fishermen on THEIR bank use 10-12 poles at a time. Raise a lot of money from the users. Just thinkin

Anonymous said...

If anyone doubted whether PRVWSD staff read JJ, I submit the above comments as evidence in the affirmative.

Anonymous said...

I wish Jim McDowell was still alive he could and would know how to proceed.

Anonymous said...

@2:18- we do pay a fee. It's called a lease and it's over a thousand bucks a year.

Anonymous said...

this is no different that when the Secretary of State forced local school boards to collect true market value leases of 16th section land. for years, school boards "gave away" valuable land and that my friends violates the state constitution.

people with piers, etc, that extend off of their property must, by law, pay for the land supporting those piers, etc. anything else is just like an able bodied person wrongfully collecting welfare, food stamps, etc.

Anonymous said...

Delbert Hosemann vs. 16th section Homeowners - Take 2!
Ready, Camera, ACTION!

Anonymous said...

1) You're a fool if build or buy a house, full price, on land you dont own.

2) How should the "bucket riders" who dont lease land or have a boat pay to use the rez?

Im all for an increase in fee of some sorts. You want nice stuff, dont be a free loader. In the same token, dont make one group bear the burden and not the rest chip in.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm, i wonder if the new lawyers will see the obvious exposure for the the Lost Rabbit debacle...

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what 4:58 PM says. The land and the houses belong to the state. No matter how long a person lives there the land and houses will always belong to the state. The pier lease requirement may be just the start. There is nothing that will stop increases on the land leases that the houses, condos, and buildings are sitting on. The over a $1,000 per year land lease may seem cheap in a few years if the state increases the land leases to $5, $10,000 a year or whatever amount they choose.

Anonymous said...

Hey dummy - 6:09 - don't you understand what a lease is? The Rez cannot 'increase' the lease until it expires - and the existing leases are long term documents. The 'state' (actually, the Rez Board) cannot just 'increase the land leases to whatever amount they choose' in a few years.

And to those that are enjoying living on the water that all our tax dollars paid for - the lease that they signed to build their house evidently didn't cover the area past the shoreline. If they want to build something on that land then they need to lease it just like they did where they built their house. That water where their pier or boathouse or other structure does not belong to them any more than it does to us poor souls that don't live there.

I also agree that those that use the rez (boaters, fishers, skiers, partygoers, whoever) should be paying a fee for their enjoyment as well. The services provided don't come for free just because the government built it.

Anonymous said...

So actually they want a City-with City Services-while Rankin County maintains the Streets and Drainage structure on our side, Deputies Patrol everything but the Parks and Boat launches-- all while TaxPayers in several Counties paid Assessments on it & they NEED MORE REVENUE-WOW

Anonymous said...

Does the land/water space that the piers/boathouses in question have value to anyone except the adjacent landowner? Could another party build a pier/boathouse on water space adjacent to lot "on water"? Only access is the lot owner (how could a pier be built if they don't cross the adjacent lot?), only real value of the 25-30 ft of water space is to the lot owner......

Anonymous said...

1) As of now, you're finding out that you, in fact, live on state land that is adjacent to a body of water on top of state land.
2) The Reservior, above all else, is tool to provide for a utility ( water).
3) After the utility aspect is taken care of and maintained, the recreational aspect is then the focus.
4) The recreational fees would be so much easier to address if:
A) the lake and the ground underneath it didn't sit in the middle of two counties
B) the leaseholders didn't have such disdain for others that use said 'tool of utility' for their recreational purposes. ( sharing is caring).
C) there weren't so many entry points and parks to maintain.

Item C is the most challenging in my purview

If the PRVWSD wishes to pursue its goals in maintaining the current recreational aspects from completely falling into disrepair, it needs to brainstorm and then formulate a sustainable POA ( Plan Of Action) that can be implemented on a tiered basis; moving from one tier to another should be based on efficacy, effiency, and success instead of just saying, " we need more money to fix this right now". If they did that in a methodical reasonable manner, then they might have a better chance of convincing us all to pay for it.

Figure out the highest priorities and then go from there. Present said priorities to non lease holders & leaseholders in a transparent manner. Do not marginalize any one particular group; leaseholder or non lease holder.

Just an idea -----
*Littering within the boundary lines should carry a $1,000 fine or 30 consecutive days of Eco friendly community service - aka- picking up trash within the boundaries of the PRVWSD. Do that enough times and see how fast the word spreads. Be vigilant.
IF the drunks leave their trash upriver as to avoid a DUI, then give them a community dumpster or trash cans which can be easily accessed. If that doesn't solve the problem, see the asterisk above.
( government needs to use common sense and not ideological woes of utter disfunctionality)

Shades of Burwell said...

So, according to the logic of the leaseholders quoted on the news and in the paper (and here), if I lease a hundred foot strip of land along the PRVWSD area, fine. Then if I decide to build a restaurant over the water with access from a pier on my land, I ought not be charged extra? Same with a boat house. Not only are you taking advantage of a property right to which you HAVE no right, you're obstructing traffic and pleasure previously available to other users. Then you have the leasees who bitch at fishermen "Hey, don't be fishing around my boathouse and pier!"

I saw a utility trailer unloading six kayaks at Pelahatchie Bay Trading Post the other day. Who will pay the fee for those users? What about all those 'mud rutters' north of Overlook Point who bury the wheels of their trucks in the mud and stick eleven poles in the ground and leave their worm boxes, cans and chicken boxes on the ground? This is a joint problem between PRVWSD AND Dept of Interior.

Anonymous said...

First it was "park entrance fees", then it was "boat use stickers", now pier fees... What's next? registering your bicycle to use the multi-use trails? Gotta wear shoes with a registration pin to hike, walk, jog on the trails? Pay-per-use toilets in the parks?

Anonymous said...

Shades of Burwell, with all due respect, isnt he department of interior over federal lands, not state, county, or local lands and bodies of water?

This is a slippery slope of governmental control. I dont own a home on the water on but I believe a happy medium of day use, annual use fees, and increasing the land lease is what is needed. Dont be "welfare recipients" and want to use it for nothing. Pay a little, make it nice, and move on.

Anonymous said...

PRVWSD should receive some money from the state due to the multi-county flood control function of the Rez. Leaseholders should pay an additional amount on structures stretching past the boundaries stated in their original lease, with the exception of basic piers. User fees should be considered, but limited to a boat launch fee, which leaseholders should be exempt. Each leaseholder household could receive a card similar to a health insurance card that's good for any boat they're in, regardless of ownership. Have a PRV officer at the public launches on weekends and holidays, otherwise have an honor box like our state parks use. Instruct the PRV officers to only collect the fees and keep things peaceful....don't check coolers, licenses, life vest, etc...just be the equivalent of a toll bridge worker. Charge $2 a launch and don't raise the fee for at least 10-15 years.

Charging for a family picnic, laying on a blanket reading, disc golf, etc, is too broad of a net and would be near impossible to enforce. Charging the bucket-sitters would be great, but we all know how that would work out.

Anonymous said...

So, exactly how would they enforce a lease fee on a pier attached to a lot that IS current on its lease fee? I guess they could somehow increase the fee on the lot itself. But, that doesn't sound like what they are proposing to do.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand Windrose was never approved to have boat houses. Home owners just built them.

Anonymous said...

6:39 PM Thanks for your compliment in calling me a "dummy". You might want to look into the long history of 16th section and other state leases that have been found by the courts to have inadequate lease rates that did not reflect current market value that have been voided and then re-leased at much higher rates. Whether it is a 10 year lease or a 99 year lease the state can and will break leases to get higher rates when they have a desire to do so.

Anonymous said...

I noticed in these posts that there are a lot of misunderstandings about how PRVWSD leases work. I have been handling PRV leases for 40+ years for clients who are selling or buying PRV properties. First, from reading many legal descriptions and reviewing surveys, the lot lines for waterfront lots don't go to the water, although the waterfront owners seem to be responsible for the sea walls. Second, the leases are for 60 years. Many of the early leases are now coming up for renewal and those who have been paying $100 to $200 a year are going to be shocked by the new fees. When a house is sold and a loan is taken on the property, the lender usually requires that the buyer get a new lease rather than just assigning the current lease if the current lease will not cover the term of the loan. Another item, flood control. The rez was not built for flood control. It was built for a water supply for Jackson and a recreation facility for citizens. For those of you who are too young to remember, the lakebed was never scraped or dredged so all of the hills that were in the rez are still there. I remember riding in boats in the old river chanel before the rez was filled and you could not see around the next bend in the river for the hills. Some were very high in comparison with the riverbed. Y'all have probably noticed in many areas that there are stumps just below the surface in many parts of the lake. These are the tops of the hills. Now, if the Rez had been for flood control and the hills leveled and dredged, then maybe we wouldn't have had the floods of l979 and 1983. Well, enough from me. I just thought that y'all would like to know some of the history of the Rez.

Anonymous said...

Amazed at all the moronic posts supporting the PRV and antiquated legislation.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not the legislation is antiquated or not, it is what is in place. It can only be changed by:
1. The Legislature
2. Activist courts. Fortunately, state courts are not rewriting laws as is SCOTUS under John Roberts.

Shades of Burwell said...

Anon at 8:41. You're correct. The Department of The Interior is over federal parks. The Natchez Trace is a Federal Parkway and DOI has jurisdiction over the roadway as well as the land leading off to the Reservoir where all these dunces from Canton rut, fish, drink and litter. Move on.

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